Genre: Lit and readings
Location: Philadelphia , PA
Venue: Free Library of Philadelphia
By A.D. Amorosi
Irish author Roddy Doyle and British-born (now Philadelphian) scribe Wesley Stace are on similar tracks where their latest works are concerned. They just happen to deal with musicians (a subject each knows well) at opposing ends of life’s experience. The slang-heavy Doyle returns to his working class The Commitments (both the 1987 book and the band’s name) for The Guts and finds vocalist/antihero Jimmy Rabbitte dealing with more than birds, blues and booze. Instead, the bleakly fragile (but humorous) mortality of life and art shove the novel’s characters and Doyle’s imagery into the red. Stace’s playfully elegant prose finds the author of Wonderkid: A Novel on grounds better aligned with his other career as a singing, songwriting troubadour. Instead of Doyle’s hard-nosed, street-level soliloquies, Stace eloquently (and with an odd mix of fact and fiction) takes on the giddy world of “kindierock” and those musicians who work to craft sugary-sweet tunes for children. This pairing of authors should make for an interesting evening.